Apple Pay will reportedly be launching in China on Thursday, February 18. Additionally, the system is said to be heading to France at some point in 2016.
In response to questions about the arrival of Apple Pay, China Guangfa Bank's official WeChat account replied that the system would arrive on February 15 at 5:00 a.m. local time. From Tech in Asia:
That information comes via the public WeChat account of China Guangfa Bank credit cards. Since those cards, like all UnionPay cards, will be able to connect with Apple Pay, the bank's WeChat account is dispensing information about Apple Pay, and the available menu options include a query about when Apple Pay will be available. If you select that option, the account will tell you it's coming to China on February 18, at 5:00 am. It also says you'll need iOS 9.2 or later or Watch OS 2.1 or later to be able to use it.
At the end of 2015, Apple announced a partership with Chinese payment provider UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China early this year.
According to the folks over at iGen, Apple Pay will also be heading to France later this year. It is thought that a number of banks and card providers will be on board for the launch, unlike the expansions into Canada and Australia, which came thanks to a partnership between Apple and American Express.
Apple Pay was originally released in the United States in late 2014. It made its first expansion outside of the U.S. to the UK in July 2015, before arriving in Canada and Australia in November. The system is also set to expand into Spain, Singapore, and Hong Kong at some point this year.